Problematic product management: the case of flibanserin to address women’s hypoactive sexual desire disorder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Purpose: A Viagra-inspired drug, flibanserin, was marketed to treat women’s hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD). This paper aims to explore the value orientation of flibanserin as a treatment for female’s HSDD among different consumer segments. Design/methodology/approach: Two surveys were run in the UK (Study 1, n = 223) and Israel (Study 2, n = 233), in which partnered heterosexual adults evaluated the value of the drug before and after being exposed to information on its side effects. Then, using content analysis of 36 online reviews among women who had tried the drug, the reported effectiveness and side effects were explored. Findings: HSDD prevalence in both studies was about 50% (Study 1) and 66% (Study 2) (no gender differences in evaluations). All segments gave the drug less than neutral or negative value orientation ratings. Women did not relate low sexual desire to low levels of sexual thoughts that would increase flibanserin’s value orientation; however, men did. Information about flibanserin and its side effects decreased its value orientation for women, especially those with HSDD. The content analysis of user’s reviews showed most women reported side effects, said it was not effective and gave it a poor rating. Research limitations/implications: The results reveal the strategic problems in the marketing of the drug, both in its value orientation before and especially after exposure to information. Originality/value: This research points to the necessity of evaluating the value orientation of flibanserin before marketing and satisfying the core expectations from the product (effectiveness and limited aversive side effects) among women with HSDD.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Marketing
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 1 Jan 2022

Keywords

  • Product management
  • Segmentation
  • Value orientation of flibanserin
  • Women’s hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy
  • Marketing

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